Accuracy of noninvasive quantification of brain NAA concentrations using PRESS sequence: verification in a swine model with external standard

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005;2005:1396-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2005.1616690.


The metabolite ratios had been employed in the field of MR spectroscopy (MRS) for a long period. The main drawback of metabolite ratio is that ratio results are not comparable with absolute metabolite concentration in vivo. The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of noninvasive quantification of brain N-acetylaspartate (NAA) concentrations using previously reported MR external standard method. Eight swine were scanned on a GE 1.5 T scanner with a standard head coil. The external standard method was utilized with a sphere filled with NAA, GABA, glutamine, glutamate, creatine, choline chloride, and myo-inositol. The position resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) sequence was used with TE=135 msec, TR=1500 msec, and 128 scan averages. The analysis of MRS was done with SAGE/IDL program. In vivo NAA concentration was obtained using the equation S=N * e(-TE/T<sub>2</sub>) * [1-e(-TR/T<sub>1</sub>). In vitro NAA concentration was measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the MRS group, the mean concentration of NAA was 10.03 plusmn 0.74 mmol/kg. In the HPLC group, the mean concentration of NAA was 9.22 plusmn 0.55 mmol/kg. There was no significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.46). However, slightly higher value was observed in the MRS group (7/8 swine), compared with HPLC group. The range of differences was between 0.02~2.05 mmol/kg. MRS external reference method could be more accurate than internal reference method. <sup>1</sup>H MRS does not distinguish between N-acetyl resonance frequencies and other N-acetylated amino acids.